Thursday, November 27, 2014

Siew Bao (Baked BBQ Buns) 燒包


Siew Bao is among the many items that I'll order whenever I have dim sum in the restaurant but not all dim sum joints serve this pastry.  I chanced upon a post by My Kitchen Snippets for this favourite pastry and decided to give it a try.   The Siew Bao turned out great and I had Gertrude to thank for!   They were indeed yummy more so if teamed with a hot cup of Chinese tea.










Recipe for Siew Bao (Baked BBQ Buns)   
    Ingredients for Oil Dough
    • 240 gm plain flour
    • 120 gm shortening
    Water Dough
    • 240 gm plain flour
    • 60 gm icing sugar
    • 60 gm shortening
    • 90 to 120 ml water
    Egg Glaze - 1 egg + 1/2 tsp honey
    Sesame seeds

    Filling
    • 400 gm chicken or pork, diced.
    • 1 big onion, diced
    • 3/4 cup green peas
    • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
    • 2 tsp dark soya sauce
    • 2 tsp light soya sauce
    • 1/2 tsp seasalt
    • 2 tsp sugar or to taste
    • A dash of pepper
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 Tbsp cornflour + 2 tsp water to thicken
    Method for the Filling (best prepared overnight and keep refrigerated)
    1. Marinate the meat with the sauces, seasalt, pepper and sugar for about half an hour.
    2. Heat up some oil in a wok, stir-fry the diced onion till fragrant, toss in the marinated meat, stir-fry.
    3. Add in the water and green peas.  Test for taste and mix in the cornflour thickening.
    4. Dish out and let cool.
    Method for Oil dough

    1. Mix all the ingredients into a soft dough.  Cover with clingwrap and let rest for 30 mins.
    2. Divide dough into 15 pieces, about 22 gm each.
    Method for Water dough
    1. Mix all the ingredients into a soft dough.  (Add water sparingly, not all may be needed).  Cover with clingwrap and let rest for 30 mins.
    2. Divide dough into 15 pieces, about 30 gm each.
    Rolling out and Assembling the Bao
    1. Wrap up the piece of oil dough with a flattened piece of water dough.
    2. Roll out the dough and roll up like a swiss roll.  Give the roll a 90 deg. turn and roll up again.
    3. Press the rolled up dough lightly and roll into a circle.  Spoon the filling in the centre and pleat up like a bao.   Place each bao on a grease proof paper.
    4. Apply egg wash and sprinkle on some sesame seeds.
    5. Bake them in a preheated oven @ 180 deg.C for 25 to 30 mins. till golden brown.
    6. Remove from oven, let cool on a wire rack before serving.
    7. Yield :  15 Siew Bao




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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wedding Dresses


Wedding Dresses 2015 UK

I was on the phone with my daughter the other day and she told me that come 2015 she’ll have quite a fair bit of travelling to do.  Oh, I asked her whether it’s work related or otherwise and she revealed that there are two weddings to attend back home in Malaysia.  That sounds great to me as I’ll get to see more of her next year.

Weddings… how sweet to see two lovebirds tying the knot in matrimony.   Then I reminisced that decades ago we have had to get our bridal dresses or gowns tailored or rented and according to Chinese customs, brides had to wear the ‘Qun Kua’ a traditional two piece attire, with a black embroidered top and a red embroidered skirt for the customary tea ceremony.   But nowadays the  whole attire is in red.   These ‘Qun Kua’ were rented as well.

Now in this era of modern technology, have you ever heard of purchasing wedding dresses on-line?  This sounds interesting, doesn’t it?  I for one have never thought of buying anything on-line, be it clothes, books, bags, accessories, etc.

But to the younger generation, nowadays very often they like to purchase their stuff on-line.  Reasons that they cited are, they can view the products on-line in the comfort of their home or on their IPad when they’re out and on top of that get feedback from reviews of those people who have had purchased the goods.  Moreover, these reviews are blatant truths and not some comments fabricated to the advantage of the retailers.

I was browsing through the internet for on-line purchases and out of curiosity, typed in ‘Wedding dresses on-line’ in the Google address bar and I was surprised that so many websites popped up.  Some had very pretty, slim models adorned in lovely wedding dresses, with beautiful fabrics such as satin, organza, some beaded while some embroidered, short, long, whatever lengths, you name it, they have it. 

But one particular website caught my eye.   It’s ‘Wedding Dresses 2015 UK’  with very affordable prices ranging from 100 to 500 sterling pounds and there’s an option in USD and Euro currencies as well.   What’s more, they also have a ‘Flash Sale Program’ which offers prices up to a 60% discount!   That’s very attractive, isn’t it? 









So for those of you readers who are planning for your big day in 2015, especially the UK residents, do hop over to their website for Wedding Dresses 2015 for their latest wedding styles be it for spring or summer!


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Mango Sorbet 芒果沙冰


Sorbet is a refreshing dessert to cleanse your palate after a  meal.   I've made mine with some mangoes given by a friend from her orchard and it's fruity and fresh.  Yum is the word and it's perfect to snack on more so on a hot and humid day!







Recipe for Mango Sorbet  芒果沙冰 (adapted from 'here' with modification)
    Ingredients                               


    • 2 ripe mangoes, about 1 kg, peeled and pitted
    • 130 gm sugar
    • 160 ml water
    • Juice from 1 lime, about 4 tsp
    • 1 Tbsp Rum or more to taste
    • pinch of salt
    Method

    1. Cook the sugar and water till sugar has dissolved, let cool.
    2. Cut the mango into chunks, put them into a food processor.  Add in salt and lime juice and puree till smooth.
    3. Sieve the puree and discard any pulp.
    4. Mix in the sugar syrup, test for taste.
    5. Pour into a large bowl, cover with cling wrap and keep refrigerated overnight.
    6. Just before churning in the ice cream maker, add in the Rum, mix well.
    7. Churn the mixture according to  the instructions of your ice cream maker.  Transfer the mixture to a plastic container and freeze before serving.
    Note :

    As alcohol doesn't freeze, adding alcohol in a sorbet helps to prevent it from freezing solid but if adding too much, the sorbet won't freeze at all.




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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Watermelon Look-A-Like Raisin Bread 西瓜面包



I've seen a Watermelon Bread post on Facebook not long ago but couldn't recall the website.  I was intrigued by the artistic creation and set off to google for more images and recipes for Watermelon Bread.   I was so pleased and happy when I finally discovered a Watermelon Look-a-like Raisin Bread recipe from Veronica's Kitchen.   Thank you so much, Veronica.   The bread was soft, freshly baked and I had toasted watermelon bread for breakfast the next day.  They tasted great, laced with a layer of chunky peanut butter!


Place all ingredients except butter and raisins into a mixing bowl.  Beat till a dough is formed, then add in the cubed butter.  Continue to beat till an elastic and smooth ball of dough is formed.


Transfer the dough onto a floured surface, lightly knead for a while.  Divide into 2 portions and divide 1 portion into 2, thus making 3 portions.  Lightly knead a small piece of plain dough, form into a ball, place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with clingwrap and let prove in a warm place for an hour or till double in size.  Put a few drops of green colouring onto the other small piece of dough, roll in between the palms of your hands till colouring is incorporated.   Cover with clingwrap and let prove for an hour in a warm place.


Likewise, put some drops of pink or red colouring onto the biggest piece of dough and roll in between the palms of your hands, add in the dark raisins.  Cover with clingwrap, let prove in a warm place for an hour.  After proving, knock down some air in the dough and knead lightly.


Shape the dough into a log, the length of the base of the lightly greased loaf dish (4.1/2 x 8.1/2 x 3 inch).   Knock down some air in the plain dough, knead lightly, roll out to a piece big enough to wrap up the red log.   Brush the dough with some milk, place the log on top and roll up.


Pinch the seams alongside the log and also the seams at the 2 ends.  Knock down some air in the green dough, roll out to a much bigger piece than the plain dough, brush with milk.


Wrap up the white log with the green dough.  Pinch the seams and tuck in the ends.  Place the dough, seamsides down into the greased  loaf dish.  Cover with clingwrap and let prove in a warm place for an hour or so.  Bake in a preheated oven at  180 deg.C for about 30 to 35 mins.   Remove loaf and place on a wire rack to cool.  (To test whether the bread is baked, give a knock on the top and if a hollow sound is heard, then the bread is done).







Recipe for Watermelon Look-A-Like Raisin Bread  西瓜面包

    Ingredients

    • 320 gm high protein/bread flour
    • 1 medium egg (50 gm)
    • 3/4 tsp instant dried yeast
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 20 to 30 gm sugar
    • 160 ml milk
    • 50 gm butter cut into cubes (room temperature)
    • 100 gm black raisins
    • Red and Green food colouring
    Method

    Please refer to the above pictures.





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Monday, November 17, 2014

Durian Ice Popsicles 榴莲冰棒。



I've bought this set of ice popsicle moulds quite some time ago and had totally forgotten to put them to good use until lately.   We have had some durians for dessert and I used the leftover to make this yummy frozen popsicle.  Well, enjoying durians is a much acquired taste, it's either you like it or you don't.  Some people just adore the smelly fruit while others are simply repulsed by it!  Which category are you?



Recipe for Durian Ice Popsicles

Ingredients                                             


  • 250 gm durian flesh           
  • 5 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 250 ml full cream milk
  • a pinch of salt
Method    
  1. Put all the above ingredients into a blender and blend till thick and creamy.
  2. Pour the mixture into the ice popsicle moulds.
  3. Freeze till firm, preferably overnight.         








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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Braised Pork Belly with Lotus Root 莲藕焖猪肉


This is a very simple pork belly dish cooked with fermented bean curd and young lotus root.  I like that the lotus root stays crunchy and blends well with  the equally crispy wood ear fungus.  A comforting dish to serve with a bowl of hot white rice!




Recipe for Braised Pork Belly with Lotus Root

    Ingredient
  • 300 gm pork  belly, cut into bite size
  • 150 gm young lotus root, sliced
  • 4 pips garlic, smashed
  • 20 gm wood ear fungus, soaked, stemmed, cut into strips
  • 2 pices of Nam Yue (fermented bean curd)
  • 1 tsp dark soya sauce
  • 2 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt and sugar to taste
Method
  1. Saute the garlic with some oil till fragrant, add in the pork belly, stir-fry.
  2. Add in the mashed fermented bean curd, mix well and toss in the wood ear fungus.
  3. Add in water, dark soya sauce, simmer till meat is tender and cooked and sauce slightly reduced.
  4. Toss in the sliced lotus root, stir-fry for a while
  5. Add sugar and salt to taste
  6. Drizzle in the Shaoxing wine, mix well.
  7. Dish out and serve with hot white rice.




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Monday, November 10, 2014

Orange Chiffon Cake 香橙戚风蛋糕


I haven't baked mini chiffon cakes before and  with this 4 egg recipe, I managed to get 2 mini chiffon cakes.  These orange chiffon cakes were soft, moist, fluffy and the colour was of a striking bright orange.  I was totally pleased with these 'products' and yes, they were indeed yummy!






Recipe for Orange Chiffon Cake  (Adapted froml Anncoo Journal with modification)

Ingredients  (A)                                          

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 15 gm caster sugar
  • 50 gm corn/canola oil
  • 70 ml orange juice
  • 90 gm plain flour
  • 10 gm cornflour
  • Zest of 1 orange
(B)
  • 4 egg whites  
  • 65 gm caster sugar
Method
  1. Sift plain flour and cornflour into a bowl.
  2. Beat egg yolks and sugar with a hand whisk till pale. 
  3. Add in oil, orange juice, zest and stir as you add.
  4. Sift the flour mixture again into the egg yolk mixture.  Stir well till smooth and mixture becomes a thick paste.
  5. Beat egg whites till foamy, add in sugar and continue to beat till stiff but not dry.
  6. Fold the egg whites into the egg mixture, mix well.
  7. Pour the mixture into two mini chiffon cake pans.  Lift and drop pans gently to remove air bubbles.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven @ 160 deg.C on the lower shelf  for 45 mins.  Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
  9. Immediately invert the pans onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Slide a sharp knife round the sides of the pans to unmould the cakes.


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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Puff Pastry Egg Tarts - 2 酥皮蛋撻



I took the opportunity to try my hands at making puff pastry from scratch when I was on vacation as the weather was quite cooling and I assumed that the dough wouldn't be sticky and messy to handle.
I could make both oil and water dough easily and there were no 'sweat and tears', LOL!  The pastries turned out nice and flaky and everybody gave their thumbs up for this dim sum, especially my dear grandnephew who asked for more!


Oil dough - Sieve the plain flour into a mixing bowl, add in the cold, cubed butter, mash with a fork and slowly combine to form a soft dough.  Wrap up with clingwrap and keep in the fridge for 30 mins.  (You can do this with a food processor if you wish),


Water dough - Sieve the plain flour into a mixing bowl, add in the slightly  beaten egg yolks, mix well, add ice cold water gradually,( you may not require the whole amount of water as too much water can make the pastry tough), mix well and form into a dough.  Wrap up with clingwrap and keep in the fridge for 30 mins.


After 30 mins., roll out the water dough, place the oil dough in the centre and wrap it up like in the above picture.  Wrap with clingwrap and keep in the fridge for 30 mins.


After 30 mins. roll out the dough and fold into three like in the above pictures.  Wrap with clingwrap and keep refridgerated for another 30 mins.

Repeat this step (3 layers) one more time.  Wrap up the dough and keep chilled for another 30 mins.




 After 30 mins., roll out the dough and this time fold into 4 layers, like in the pictures.  Wrap up and keep chilled for another 30 mins.  Roll out the dough, cut with a pastry cutter.  Lightly press the dough onto lightly greased tart moulds, prick some holes with a fork.  Keep these 'pressed tart moulds' in the fridge for about 20 mins.  Retrieve from fridge and pour in the egg custard, 3/4 full.

Bake on the lower shelf of a preheated oven @ 180 deg.C for 25 to 30 mins.  Let cool in the tart moulds before unmoulding.

(Please check  'here' for details in baking these egg tarts).







Recipe for Puff Pastry Egg Tarts

Ingredients for Oil Dough
  • 140 gm plain flour
  • 180 gm butter, cut into cubes and keep chilled
Water Dough
  • 140 gm plain flour
  • 40 gm/2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 40 to 50 ml ice cold water
Egg Custard Filling
  • 100 ml water
  • 75 to 80 gm sugar
  • 2.1/2 eggs
  • 125 ml milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
Method for Custard Filling
  1. Boil the water with sugar till sugar dissolves.  Let cool.
  2. Lightly whisk the eggs with the milk.  Do not whisk till frothy.  Add in the vanilla.  Mix well.
  3. Pour in the cooled syrup, mix well.
  4. Strain the egg mixture twice and pour into a jug for easy pouring into the tart moulds.
Yield :  12 pieces of 2.1/2 inch diameter and 9 pieces of 3 inch diameter.







Continue reading "Puff Pastry Egg Tarts - 2 酥皮蛋撻"

Monday, November 3, 2014

Stir-fry mixed veggie with cloud ears 黑木耳炒杂菜



Hi folks!  I'm back.  Had a wonderful and enjoyable holiday with so much good food, good company and laughter.  Today, I'm going to share with you a simple stir-fry veggie dish..... a light and refreshing mixed veggie dish with cloud ears and pine nuts.   Not only is it nutritious it's also very easy to prepare.  I didn't fry this dish too long as I prefer the veggie to be crisp and crunchy.   You can serve this with white rice or can enjoy it on its own!




Recipe for Stir-fry mixed veggie with cloud ears

Ingredients


  • 50 gm cloud ears, soaked and stemmed
  • 100 gm celery
  • 50 gm carrot
  • 200 gm cauliflower
  • some goji berries
  • pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • seasalt to taste
  • oil
Method
  1. Heat up some oil in a wok and stir-fry the cauliflower.
  2. Toss in the celery and carrot, add in the oyster sauce, mix and continue to stir-fry.
  3. Add in the cloud ears, goji berries.
  4. Sprinkle on some water if the dish is too dry.
  5. Fine tune to taste and toss in the pine nuts.
  6. Dish out and serve.







Continue reading "Stir-fry mixed veggie with cloud ears 黑木耳炒杂菜"

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